The number of New Yorkers depending on food stamps has reached three million: a sad record-high. However, social workers believe the reality is even worse than the numbers indicate as food stamps are only handed out to people who are willing to leave their fingerprints for identification purposes. A requirement which discourages many from applying for food stamps in the first place. Hence, the sight of people searching trash bags for useable items is becoming more and more common.
Like everywhere in the world, social hotspots are particularly negatively impacted by substance abuse, drug-dealing, forced prostitution, domestic violence and the ramifications of HIV/AIDS. The woman in the photograph above does advocacy work for the Amethyst Women’s Project. AWP mission is “to restore hope and dignity to the lives of women adversely impacted by substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, and domestic violence and to protect and preserve family systems in South Brooklyn.”
Urban Librarians Unite (ULU) collected many thousands of children’s books to help replace library collections damaged by Hurricane Sandy last fall. ULU also set up so-called Mini Libraries in front of libraries that were closed due to storm damage. The above photograph was taken in Coney Island, South Brooklyn.